Become a Volunteer

Riverbanks is recruiting enthusiastic individuals to join our growing volunteer team.

Each year, volunteers contribute more than 23,000 hours to Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. Volunteering is a very important part of the mission and daily workings of the Zoo and Garden.

“Discover the Adventure” and volunteer with Riverbanks.

Please complete and mail the Volunteer Application (PDF) and Background Check Authorization Form (PDF). The Volunteer Coordinator will review your application and contact you to discuss volunteering with Riverbanks. An interview will be scheduled to allow the coordinator to learn more about your interests, experiences and commitment to volunteering.

For more information, please call the Volunteer Manager at 803.602.0800 or email Roni Reeves.

Volunteer Opportunities Become a part of our Riverbanks “family” and assist in one of these areas of the Zoo and Garden.

Animal Care Volunteers

Have the exciting opportunity to assist our keepers with cleaning exhibits, food preparation, behavioral enrichment and other special projects associated with animal care. Volunteers do not have direct contact with some of the animals. Cleaning duties vary and could include cleaning glass, scooping poop, washing dishes, lifting hay, sweeping, stooping, hosing, etc. Animal Care Volunteers work in a variety of areas including bird, small mammal, large mammal, and farm based on availability.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Must be available to arrive at 8:00am or 8:30am.
  • Must be available to volunteer for three to four hours on a weekly basis.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.

Aquarium and Dive Volunteers

Have the opportunity to work with our professional aquarists at Riverbanks. Aquarium volunteers assist with preparing food and cleaning and are asked to volunteer four hours, one day a week either in the morning or afternoon.

Volunteer Divers have the unique opportunity to dive in our aquariums while feeding and cleaning. Divers must be certified and are required to have a dive physical at their own expense, take a written and skills exam and have 12 dives observed. A dive manual and information will be mailed on request. Equipment is provided including a wet suit. Volunteers Divers must be available one day a week for approximately two hours.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.

Costumed Interpreters

Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is seeking several volunteers to present environmental education in an entertaining and engaging manner through the use of theater, movement, and puppetry!

  • Interested in using theater to teach children about wildlife.
  • Energetic, engaging and capable of a range of characters.
  • Skilled in improvisation.
  • Able to take direction and be an active team member.
  • Available for Saturday–Sunday performances.
  • Able to commit to a vigorous performance schedule.
  • Volunteers 18 years and over are preferred.

Education Volunteers

Enhance visitors’ knowledge and appreciation of the Zoo by providing answers to general questions and communicating information about Zoo programs and exhibits. Volunteer opportunities with education include docent, animal caretaker, school and summer programs assistant, counselor-in-training, and overnight camp programs assistant.

Education Volunteers are trained by our professional staff to give formal and informal interpretive presentations throughout the park. Education Volunteers have the unique opportunity to educate our guests and represent Riverbanks through interactions with guests, presentations, handling program animals and participating in regularly scheduled programs as well as special events. Volunteers are expected to commit to a minimum of 30 hours quarterly after successful completion of the training program.

2014 Volunteer Training is an 8-week course with a completion ceremony set for Sunday, March 9. Two training sessions will be offered weekly, Thursdays and Saturdays from 2:00pm until 5:00pm, beginning January 16. Trainees will be required to attend one training session per week. There is a one-time supply fee of $35 for the training course.

  • Counselor-In-Training minimum age requirement is 15.
  • Education Volunteer minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.

Farm Volunteers

Have the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of our guests while they interact with our farm animals. Volunteers monitor the farm, assist guests and ensure the safety of the farm animals; they also must enjoy working with guests of all ages, working with farm animals (no cleaning) and working outdoors. Farm Volunteers assist during our busy months and do not need to volunteer during colder months or inclement weather.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.

Guest Services Volunteers

Have the opportunity to assist guests when they enter the park by taking tickets at the front gate or assisting at the giraffe-feeding platform. Guest Services Volunteers make our guests at Riverbanks feel welcome, so good communication skills and a cheerful and patient disposition are required. Guest Services Volunteers assist during our busy months and do not need to volunteer during colder months or inclement weather.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.

Horticulture Volunteers

Work with our professional horticulture staff in the Zoo and/or Botanical Garden.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.
  • The Horticulture Volunteer schedule is Tuesday and/or Thursday 8:30am–12:00pm.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.
  • It is recommended that Horticulture Volunteers have an up-to-date tetanus shot.

Lorikeet Aviary Volunteers

Assist guests and monitor the lorikeet aviary in the Koala Knockabout area. Guests have the opportunity to walk through the lorikeet aviary and buy nectar to feed the birds. Volunteers must have a love for birds and guests of all ages. Lorikeet Aviary Volunteers assist during our busy months and do not need to volunteer during colder months or inclement weather.

  • The minimum age requirement is 18.
  • Proof of a tuberculin skin test is required annually.

Special Event Volunteers

Assist with events in the Zoo and Garden. Special events may include the opening of new exhibits, ZOOfari, Boo at the Zoo, Lights Before Christmas, Enrichment Day, Wine Tasting and other events held at Riverbanks. Boo at the Zoo and Lights Before Christmas are fun opportunities for community service groups to volunteer.

Volunteer Requirements Review and consider if interested in joining our volunteer team. All associated costs are covered by volunteers and not reimbursable by Riverbanks Zoo and Garden.

  • Be at least age 15 to volunteer with the Counselor-in-Training program, age 16 to volunteer with special events and age 18 for other areas.
  • Complete a Volunteer Application.
  • Pass a criminal background check.
  • Follow the Riverbanks Appearance Policy, which includes wearing khaki shorts or pants, closed-toe shoes, socks, Riverbanks uniform shirt, nametag and ID card. Uniform shirts range from $6–$20 depending on size and style; Riverbanks nametag and ID are $10.
  • Show proof of a tuberculin (TB) skin test–a TB test is required annually for most volunteer areas.
  • Commit to volunteering a minimum of six months for 4 hours a week (although you are welcome to volunteer more). We will gladly accommodate any time you need to take off.
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